Laguna church gets affinity bond with Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua in Italy
The National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua in Pila, Laguna and the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy.
The Philippines’ and Asia’s first Antonian church was granted the privilege of “spiritual twinning” with the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy.
The affinity grant was approved by the Franciscan friars of the basilica on Aug. 6 “in the desire to spread more the devotion of St. Anthony of Padua”.
“In communion of intention and fraternity”, basilica’s rector Fr. Oliviero Svanera said they will support the pastoral work of the National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua in Pila, Laguna.
The privilege also means that all indulgences granted in the Basilica will be gained in the national shrine.
The Pila church said it is “very blessed” to have been granted the twinning with the basilica, considered as an important monument in Italy and one of the world’s important art treasures.
The Vatican recognizes the basilica as an international shrine, where the tomb and the incorrupt tongue of St Anthony are also venerated.
Devotees around the world visit the basilica asking for the intercession of the revered saint.
In Pila church, the longtime tourist attraction and pilgrimage site has been “a place of miracles and testimonies of prayers granted through the intercession of St. Anthony”.
Built in 1578, the church was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in April 2019.
In his message for the celebration, Pope Francis greeted the shrine with the words: “Let it be the center of a constant missionary presence.”
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